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Summary: This is a Memorial Day service message. You can be a good American Soldier. You need to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

A Good Soldier of Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 2:3 (KJV)

3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Introduction:

American Wars- to name a few: May 2001 report

American Revolution 1775-1783- battle deaths 4,435- wounded 6,188

World War I 1917-1918- battle deaths 53,402- wounded 204,002

World War II 1940- 1945- battle deaths 291,557- wounded 671,846

Vietman War 1964-1975- battle deaths 47,410- wounded 153,303

American Wars Total as of 2001- battle deaths 650,954- wounded 1,431,661

Many a good soldier has suffered and died for America.

Some of these good soldiers that suffered are here in this service today.

Christian Wars- to name a few. Fox Book of Martyrs

Early Church War 4BC- AD100- Death of it’s Soldiers.

Jesus Christ around AD33

Stephen stoned to death- Acts 7

James the Great with a sword- Acts 12

Peter crucified upside down. FBM

Paul head amputated FBM

John placed in oil- banished to Patmos. FBM

Reformation War 1300s to 1800s

John Wickliffe- 41 years bones dug up,burned, ashes thrown in river. FBM

John Huss- burned at the stake, ashes cast into the river. FBM

Martin Luther- excommunicated. FBM

William Tyndale- translated Bible to English- burned at the stake. FBM

I- A good soldier does not:

lay behind

shirk his duty

seek to escape the battle

refuse to carry his load

give into the enemy

deny the cause

reject the commands

hide from the toil

12438. One Day I Dream

One day as I was fast asleep

I had this stirring dream;

I was caught up to be with God.

With angels it did seem.

And while up there, I met God’s saints

From many parts of the earth.

Now some were great and famous men,

And some of humble birth.

I talked to one great saint of God,

The first one I had met.

He told me how he died for Christ.

His words I can’t forget.

He lived, he said, in Bible days

And died at Nero’s stake.

"It was a joy to give my all

And burn for Jesus’ sake."

"I was so glad to die for Christ,"

With humble words he said.

But as I listened to it all.

I bowed my guilty head.

Another man then gently spoke,

"Here is my story, friend.

’Twas cannibals that took my life,

Because I would not bend.

"I tried to tell those heathen souls

Of Christ who came to die.

They ate my flesh and drank my blood

But sent my soul on high.

"Of course up here are millions more

With stories rare and true.

But friend, before I tell you more,

Let’s hear your story too."

I am ashamed of how I’ve failed,

I’ve known no sacrifice.

I am ashamed of how I’ve failed,

I’ve paid such little price.

I’ve never even given funds

To send the Gospel out,

I’ve lived a life of luxury

And never done without.

Those costly cars, those extra clothes

Seem needless now, and vain;

The very thought of how I’ve lived

Now fills my heart with pain.

Just then it seemed that Jesus said,

"Take up my cross today;

I’ll give to you another chance

To work and give and pray."

My guilty heart began to burn,

My nervous body shake.

Then I awoke with tear-filled eyes

With new resolves to make.

I told the Lord from that day forth

My best, my all I’d give

To win the lost in every place,

For this alone I’d live.

I told the Lord that from then on

I would not waste a dime;

That I would give myself to prayer

And really use my time.

That I would seek with all my heart

That power from above

To help me tell a heathen world

Of Jesus’ grace and love.

—Pilgrim Gospel Messenger

II- A good soldier:

Is willing to suffer

SUFFERING

12433. Beaten Into Higher Value

A bar of steel is worth five dollars. When it is wrought into horseshoes, it is worth ten dollars. If made into needles, it is worth three hundred and fifty dollars. If wrought into penknife blades, it is worth thirty-two thousand dollars. And if it is wrought into springs for watches, it is worth two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

What a drilling the poor bar must undergo to be worth a higher value. But the more it is manipulated, the more it is hammered, and passed through the fire, and beaten and pounded and polished, the greater the value.

Those who suffer most are capable of yielding most; and it is through pain that God can get the most out of us.

Gives his all

12436. Fearing His Scars

Adoniram Judson, the renowned missionary to Burma, endured untold hardships trying to reach the lost for Christ. For 7 heartbreaking years he suffered hunger and privation. During this time he was thrown into Ava Prison, and for 17 months was subjected to almost incredible mistreatment. As a result, for the rest of his life he carried the ugly marks made by the chains and iron shackles which had cruelly bound him.

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